First pediatric flu death reported in 2016-2017 Mississippi flu season

Courtesy: MGN Online
Courtesy: MGN Online
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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The Mississippi State Department of Health reports the first confirmed pediatric influenza death for the 2016-2017 flu season.

Officials say it happened to someone who lived in Central Mississippi.

Including this reported death, there have been 15 total pediatric flu deaths reported in Mississippi since such deaths became reportable in the 2007-2008 flu season. Flu symptoms include fever, cough, and often, extreme fatigue. Pediatric deaths are defined as deaths of those under 18 years of age.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers says the flu vaccine is the best way to prevent infection, and for anyone six months of age and older, vaccination can reduce the risk of complications and death.

Nationwide, an estimated 3,000 to 49,000 people die and more than 200,000 are hospitalized each year because of the flu.